SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — For decades, Seaside Pharmacy has been serving the community of San Pedro.
But next week, the longtime fixture is slated to close its doors.
First founded in 1889, the pharmacy was purchased in 1981 by Joe Seibert and is said to be the oldest continuously operating business in town.
“There were 16 independent pharmacies in town. Now, there’s just 4, including me,” he told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen.
Come next Thursday, that number will be down to three.
Seibert says it’s been hard to compete with large chains like CVS pharmacy and says compensation from the government and insurance companies has dropped and cut into his profit margin.
So he says he’s agreed to sell his patient files and records to CVS pharmacy with the understanding that they will try to absorb all of his employees.
Damian Franco, who works at the pharmacy, says this is the only job she’s had other than babysitting.
“I’ve been here 13 and a half years. My mom’s been here for 25 years. So it is a big part of my family. I’ve been here since I was a child,” Franco said.
For 40 years, Shirley Despal has been a loyal customer, buying her medical supplies in bulk.
“I heard they were closing and I wanted to stock up so at least I have something for a year at least for what I need,” said Despal.
For now, Seibert plans to re-focus his business to try to provide medical supplies to cargo ships at the Port of San Pedro. Until then, customers continue to stop by to say goodbye.